CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) – The St. Lawrence County Department of Public Health announced on Wednesday, August 2 that a horse in the town of Morristown has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Health officials say the horse, located in the Brier Hill area, tested positive for the virus. The EEE virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and can infect people, horses and other mammals, some birds, reptiles and amphibians. The virus is rare, but can cause inflammation of the brain, also known as encephalitis.

There are usually 5-10 cases of EEE reported in the United States per year. New York State has experienced eight of these cases from 2003 until 2022. Eight of these cases were in Oswego and Onondaga counties.

The virus can cause various symptoms, such as fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, behavioral changes, drowsiness, or coma. If you’re under 15 or over 50, you’re more likely to develop a severe form of EEE.

The best way to protect yourself against EEE is protect yourself against mosquito bites. This is more likely to happen from July until September. For more information on EEE, please call the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department at 315-386-2325.